published Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Gordon County, Ga., father denied bond in child cruelty case

A Gordon County, Ga., father was denied bond over the weekend after being charged with severely injuring his 2-month-old son, authorities said.

William Stanley Cornett, of Plainville, Ga., was charged with aggravated assault and cruelty to children in the first degree and is in the Gordon County Jail after he was denied bond Saturday, Gordon County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Robert Paris said.

Paris said the 28-year-old man could face more charges if the infant dies. The boy -- whose name hasn't been released -- is in critical condition at Scottish Rite Children's Hospital in Atlanta, he said.

"If the child passes away, we can take appropriate action," Paris said.

Floyd Medical Center officials contacted the sheriff's office Wednesday when the infant was brought there with a suspicious head injury, Paris said.

Later the same day, the child was airlifted to Scottish Rite, he said. Sheriff's deputies also searched Cornett's house the same evening.

At 3:30 a.m. Thursday, deputies met Cornett at the Atlanta hospital and arrested him, Paris said.

Cornett was on probation for previous convictions in Floyd County, a sheriff's office news release stated.

The Gordon County public defender's office was closed Monday to observe the Martin Luther King holiday and could not be reached for comment.

Contact staff writer Joy Lukachick at or 423-757-6659.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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